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Everything about Jerry Yang PROFILE

Jerry Yang alias "The Shadow"

Last Update: 31. March 2014
Full Tilt Poker
"I think poker is a great opportunity for many people and we all should support poker."
According to Jerry, poker is a great opportunity not only for the players but also for the charities he supports thanks to his success
Temecula, US
Studied Health Psychology
Psychologist, social worker
Spending time with his family, hiking, camping, dancing, books, golf, water sports
Jazz, Pop
Home (Temecula, California)
Oprah Winfrey 2005
Very aggressive
Howard Lederer, Jonathon Natale, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda, Mike Sexton, Annie Duke, Men "The Master" Nguyen and Phil Ivey
...people would live in peace, happiness and harmony players would have the ultimate rights :)
Supports various charities, especially children's funds; kisses photos of his children during tournaments, which brings him good luck

From Laos to the USA

At the age of 13, Xao’s family emigrated to the United States. Jerry reckons it was the best day of his life, when the American government called his father’s name and said “Hey, you can come to America”. Further, he believes that having to learn English was probably the most difficult part about moving to the U.S. It must have been hell for Jerry having to learn the alphabet, but his father always encouraged him by saying: “Son, if you can just graduate from high school, I will be a very proud father.” Obviously, Jerry Yang wanted more than that. Originally, Jerry wanted to study medicine and he even got admission to do so, but then he decided to travel around as a missionary for a couple of years first. Eventually he ended up studying health psychology and he completed his studies with a master’s degree.

Jerry takes the poker scene by storm

Astonishingly Jerry Yang never really played poker before 2005, but as soon as he got started, he gained plenty of knowledge after only a short time and improved his game massively. Just like the poker professional Chris Moneymaker, Jerry Yang won his seat for the WSOP after entering a satellite tournament. Contrary to Chris Moneymaker, who qualified by coming first in an online satellite tournament, Jerry reserved his seat for the WSOP 2007 Main Event in the “Pechanga Resort and Casino”, a local casino in Temecula, California. His total investment at the tournament was no more than $ 225.

Jerry is very active in the virtual world of poker and one can often watch him play at PokerStars. By the way, new players receive a highly attractive welcome bonus when following our link to PokerStars.

At the World Series of Poker in 2007 Jerry’s unusual, aggressive style was heavily criticized. Still, most people believe that an aggressive playing style is the key to achieve victory in a tournament... and Jerry Yang mainly was the most aggressive player at every table.

On the last day of the Main Event, Jerry Yang started off with the second lowest chip stack. Even though he was skating on thin ice, Jerry had made a plan: “I had a strategy... The only way that I could win this tournament, was by being aggressive from the very beginning and that’s exactly what I did.”

Whenever Yang got into an all in-situation, he kissed a photograph of his kids and sometimes he additionally started to pray. There was this unbelievable moment in the Main Event, when Jerry Yang showed his pair of fours and his opponent revealed a higher pair. All Jerry needed to say was “Lord, give me a set” and all of a sudden a 4 appeared in the flop! In another situation Jerry whispered: “Lord, if you want me to win this, put the ace or the 4 on the river.” Once again, Jerry’s wish came true.

Even when the final hand was played, Jerry Yang’s prayers were obviously heard. He already sat there with a stack five times larger than his opponent’s, Tuan Lam. After they had played for about 16 hours, Tuan Lam moved all in holding A-Q. Yang called and turned up his pocket eights. The flop showed Q-9-5, which would have meant a pair of queens for Lam, but with a 7 on the turn and a 6 on the river, Jerry finally won the tournament with a straight. He earned $ 8.25 million, the title “WSOP Champion 2007” and of course he now also owns one of the famous Gold Bracelets.

In his first reaction to the victory, he was more than overjoyed: “I am very excited. I can’t describe the feelings but I had a huge adrenaline rush. It was just tremendous. I am very, very happy. There are no words to describe it.”

At the World Series of Poker Jerry Yang was able to make use of his psychological skills. He stated that at the beginning of the tournament he watched his opponents carefully. He observed everybody and everything and created a picture for each player in his mind. Then, every time he made a decision, he remembered the respective picture and it helped him to do the right thing.

Winning for a good cause

When he was asked, what meant more to him - the cash or the Gold Bracelet, he answered:

“I would say the money. The bracelet to me is a title where you get the notoriety. However, with the money you can do a lot of good. You can help a lot of people.”

Jerry promised to donate 10 % of his winnings to different children’s welfare organisations like the “Make a Wish-Foundation”, the “Ronald McDonald house” and “Feed the Children”.

Now he is a World Champion, does Jerry want to become an ambassador for poker? Of course he does... “Absolutely! I think poker is a great opportunity for many people and we all should support poker. Obviously some of us do this for a living and whatever we can do to benefit the community and to benefit our families we should do that. Some of us have a regular job, some of us play poker and whatever we do we should support that. Support poker and promote poker as much as possible.”

Jerry works as a psychologist and a social worker, who takes care of foster children and finds decent homes for them. He loves his work, but now he thinks he owns enough money to take the next step. He wants to reach more people with his help and therefore wants to quit his job in order to enforce his support for charity:

“My plan when I go back home is to sit down with my boss, the owner of the company and my gut feeling at this point is: I think there are better purposes for me out there and I want to use the money to do some good. But I will be professional and I will give my two weeks notice. But my wife (a blackjack dealer), no more work for her.”

Away from the poker tables

When he was asked how much the WSOP victory changed his life, he replied:

“Overall it’s been great. I’ve been meeting a lot of people, a lot of fans. Everyone in the poker world and everyone in general have been great. I’m very grateful and my life has changed tremendously, obviously for the better. My wife and I have both quit our jobs and so we’ve been able to spend more time with our kids. So my life in general has been great.”

Yang, his wife and their six children live in Temecula in southern California, where Jerry enjoys being most. His sense of family was definitely handed down to him by his loving parents, who never failed to support him. They even sat in the audience, when Jerry managed to win the WSOP 2007.

Apart from playing lucrative poker, Jerry loves to play golf, he likes to read, dance and hike and he enjoys going out camping.
His favourite film is “Braveheart” and he likes listening to jazz and pop.

Jerry still has great ambitions for the future: one day he wants to run his own company.

Xao “Jerry” Yang has one of the most fascinating personalities in the poker community. He was just ranked the world’s number one in poker and all he cares about is social welfare!

By the way: No, this article is not about Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo!

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